COVID-19 fight must not be limited by egoism

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Source:Global Times

Recovered Chinese patient takes selfie with Sri Lanka’s Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi (in red clothes) and medical staff before being discharged from hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Feb. 19, 2020. A Chinese patient who was found infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) while touring in Sri Lanka, was discharged from hospital here on Wednesday after being fully cured, Sri Lanka’s health ministry said. (Xinhua)

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has brought a strong and comprehensive impact to China. The whole country is forced to suspend its previous schedule and engage in a full-scale battle against the epidemic. So far, China has achieved remarkable results on battlefields outside Hubei Province. The dangerous possibility of a large-scale spread of the disease across the country has been contained. The situation in Hubei has also started to improve significantly.

But whether the epidemic can be eradicated quickly is uncertain. Many experts believe it cannot be ruled out that the COVID-19 pneumonia might turn into a chronic flu.

Our knowledge about the COVID-19 is still very limited. China seems to have put it under control, but it has not yet found any specific treatment. Countries across the world should work together with China to establish a system to proactively cope with the virus.

China’s battle against the epidemic has largely prevented the virus from spreading overseas. Its large number of clinical cases and experience over disease prevention and control have also provided valuable knowledge.

If the virus turns into a chronic infectious disease in winter, an epidemic outbreak in other parts of the world would be inevitable. The situation in Japan has offered such a perspective.

Japan’s medical system is highly developed and Japanese society is vigilant to epidemic diseases. Nonetheless, the COVID-19 has hit the Diamond Princess cruise ship that harbored in Yokohama hard. The situation on the ship is as severe as in Wuhan. There are dozens of infected cases within Japan, which shows every country could be fragile in the face of the COVID-19. Once the virus is further spread, it is hard to say which country would be the next severely hit one.

Some US politicians call the novel coronavirus “China virus,” and the Wall Street Journal published a commentary with a racist headline “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia.” Such prejudice and arrogance is very dangerous. The US may pay a heavy price for it at some point in the future.

Modernization has provided more hotbeds of virus spread than before, and panic spreads even faster than the virus. Through panic, the virus becomes more destructive and thus disrupts modern civilization. To curb the panic, all countries must jointly prevent and control the virus in a scientific way and coordinate economic activities and prevention.

The impact of the COVID-19 clearly shows the real challenges faced by human beings. Globalization is not at mankind’s disposal. There will be many common problems faced by mankind, and the human race will become a community with a shared future at some special moments, whether we like it or not. Human society must pay more attention to real and potential public crises and refrain from obsessing with geopolitical and ideological conflicts.

Political and public opinion elites in the US and other Western countries are capable of influencing global opinion. They must avoid misleading the world and help human society maintain vigilance against new risks.
Newspaper headline: Egoism should not limit virus fight

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